To Pay or Not to Pay
Computer Literacy INF 103
When your professor asks you to write a research paper, your reaction usually is not “I wonder what goes into the software and databases I will use to do my research paper?” Well, at least that’s not where my mind goes. Although it is a good question. Are they reliable, scholarly databases? Or are they people like you and I just writing things on the World Wide Web? Let us look a little further into these questions. Let us start with talking about some benefits of propriety and subscription based databases. First off propriety software companies create a product that is safe and secure for the user from threats and viruses, and they are easy to install. Free updates are usually available. Some disadvantages of propriety software is that you have to purchase it in order to use it and most of the time it is very expensive. The company can also set limits on the purchaser for things like how many times you can download the software. Thus giving the company a way to control how you use the product. Subscription based databases are usually tied in with universities, government and corporations. Which means that they contract (buy) the information so that it is readily available through their own databases. They usually are made up of journals, magazines, popular reports, and documents. In addition, you can easily identify subscription based databases by the information they provide to citations. Another important thing to keep in mind when doing research is if source is a scholarly or popular resource. There are a few ways to make sure you’re on the right track. First, scholarly resources usually written by/for faculty, scholars, and researchers and they are usually written in a more formal language. They are usually longer in form like a book, manuscript, or essay. In addition, they are usually full of citations and...
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